You can finally become a dictionary yourself without necessarily cramming the meaning of every word.
There are many ways of coming to meaning of a word and one of them is studying the parts that make that word (prefixes, infixes and suffixes).
Compare the parts of the word with other words that have similar parts/ letters.
The logic is that words with similar parts have similar meaning and that can help you come to the meaning of the word so easily.
For example, if you come across a word such as “commotion”, think of words like “communication”.
You may not be aware that “com” and “con” are Latin words used in English to mean “with” or “together” but still you can know that if “communication” involves messages among parties, then “commotion” means motion among parties which is close to the actual meaning “disorder”.
Master that words like “communication”, “community”, “contention”, “consensus” etc carry the meaning of things happening among parties.
If you take “con” and “tention” (contention) it directly means tension among parties which is close to the actual meaning “misunderstanding” among parties.
The same is with “consensus” where “con” means “with” and “census” basically means “many people” which is also close to the actual meaning “agreement among people”.
Consider the word “contest”. By taking it directly, it means a test among parties which is near to the actual meaning “competition” which is also a combination of “com” and “petition”.
Consider very many other words like common, connect, conclude, combine; compare, conjunction, committee, commerce, compile, confront, conflict etc.
Some words can go wrong with the idea above but, generally, words with com- and con- carry meaning of that is something happening among parties.
You may also take a look at how these word with (“com” and “con”) were used in last Wednesday’s Educating Times.
Minister Munyakazi said: “… now is the right time [for parents] to sit with their children and come up with a commitment agreement on the new academic targets for their children”.
Neza Uwamariya asked: “What should I base on to choose the right combination?”